Belarusian food exports to be priced in US Dollars
On December 3rd, the Agriculture Ministry set the recommended minimum export prices for dairy and meat products in US Dollars.
The devaluation of the Russian rouble has lead to losses for Belarus when exporting foods stuffs to Russia and making settlements in roubles. Belarus is expected to reduce exports of meat and dairy products to Russia, which will lead to growing stocks in the food industry, reducing imports of raw milk to Belarus for processing, and falling prices on the domestic market due to increased competition. If Russia complains about Belarus charging for her exports in US Dollars, Belarus may offer to pay for natural gas, oil and oil products in Russian roubles.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.